I made a plan last weekend that I would go fishing Saturday and spend Sunday with the family, at this stage weather forecast looked good for both days. Had a call in the week from Mark Harper asking if I could fish for the team at Viaduct, but with the family plan set I had to decline.
As for where to fish Saturday, well I would have done a river match but I didn't know of any, so it was off to Hill View again. I took a trip up to the venue with Mat Toomes, he's not too well at the moment with a recurrence of his intestinal problems, but between us I reckon we could make one good bowel! Another decent turnout today with 34 I think, Keith decided to peg the match on the lakes and canals 3 and 4. As ever most people felt that the lakes would provide the winner, although canal 4 had won the rover on Weds (but that was 1 angler on his own on the canal). I managed to pull out peg 87 so not far from where I was last week, although on that day it was not that good. Mat was on Moorhen peg 8 which can be very good.
Getting to my peg Brad Procter was on the end peg 95 on my canal, he was the lad on that peg last Sunday and was expected to better today. The wind was blowing from left to right which meant Brad was at the windward end, only the guy to my left on peg 84 had a virtually windless peg. At this stage the wind was worse than last week, but not bad enough to allow me to fish across. However, the wind played havoc with my presentation and I had to use heavier rigs today. A 0.3g PB Inter 4 was used for across by the reeds with the standard 18 PR434 to 0.117 exceed, and that also did for the margin which was a little shallower. For the open water I went with a 0.5g wire stem version, but when I say open water that was top set plus one! I should mention that pegged opposite me was Ben Haag, a young angler who already has a good record fishing on commercials.
To start the match I fed some micro and corn across, corn on my open water line, (I thought I would start more positive with the corn hoping the carp were waking up) but I did though feed maggots by hand down wind to my right margin. Shipping across the wind had increased and I was glad of the heavier float, unlike last week though I had to wait a few minutes to get a bite. It was slow going for me and all around me (including Ben) but down the other end Brad was catching. I had to change something and slipped on a soft pellet, it made a real difference and the float was now going under regularly. I must have taken 10 carp and 2 tench in about 40 mins, unfortunately they would have weighed 3lb in total lol! I did joke to Ben that I was catching fairground fish. Sadly it was obvious at this stage that the peg did not hold any decent fish, so I fed a bit heavier across and then tried in closer. The top set plus 1 line produced 1 bite and a bumped fish and actually I never caught a fish on this line al match!
A look in the margin with double maggot sadly confirmed the lack of carp as I caught a procession of rudd, roach and gudgeon. I starting throwing in 30+ maggots and I did catch an F1 but then it was dead. Going back across it was evident I had mainly fed the smaller carp off as I was waiting for bites, but it was now a very odd F1 or small carp that I caught, but I knew I was not on the pace of the anglers below me, some of whom were catching in close. I cannot recall when it was exactly, but I'll guess halfway through the match the wind had increased to such an extent that fishing across was now no possible, in fact just trying to fish at 3m was a nightmare. I was now forced to fish the margins, but I couldn't fish the left margin as the sun on the water with the wind was blinding. I finally got a few fish in the edge feeding but I was not able to hook many in the mouth and foul hooked and lost probably a dozen fish during the match. I think they were feeding off bottom, but there was no way to present a bait like that and I had no bites on the drop. I changed to feeding corn to try to get them on the deck.
The guy to my left was now emptying his margins on corn, and the guy to my right emptying his on pellet! I know this as I went for a walk to cool my head after a fish snapped me and I had to tie on another hook which I promptly lost as the wind blew the rig into a bramble! I sat back on my box feeling a tad gutted, being a chip shop sausage is no fun lol! An hour to go and I noticed the sun had moved a bit and so I could fish up to my left, I decided to feed some meat here which sounds stupid when nobody was catching on it but I just wanted to see if it would work as all thoughts of beating anyone were gone. I did take 3 carp from here and they were the best fish I had all day. The corn worked and I took a few fish but I know I should have fished much closer into the reeds today, but in my defence it was not easy to do in this peg.
As soon as the all out was shouted I was off an running for the loo, I told Ben to tell Keith not to weigh me in, which was lucky as I didn't get back to the peg in time. Brad had won the match with 96lb, and either side of me weighed 70lb+, I estimate I had only half of that, shocking! I am not sure I can really say why I did so bad, but I will say the guys either side could get in nice and tight in the margins. Fishing maggot, or loose feeding maggot in my peg was not the best today, but what is right is hard to say as the guy to my left dumped in bait, whilst to my right he loose fed a sprinkling of micros in his margin all day. I should mention in second place today was Garbolino backed Steve Tucker with 91lb from peg 22 on Heron lake, he caught big carp on either pellet or corn, by far the best weight on the lakes, and he took a fiver of Mat who also DNW.
Oh well that's fishing, one day it all goes right another you feel like a chump lol! I just read a bit about the Sensas Challenge on the Soar, first day there were lots of blanks including Des Shipp. Today Des lost a bream which snapped his light hook length and was blanking along with a host of others, he managed a fish on his chopped worm line to save the blank..... a near 19lb common carp and he won the match. The downs and ups!